Feb 1, 2012

Wednesday, February 1 2012 Robin Stears

Theme: B+. B homophones PLUS another word to complete the phrase. For extra B credit, every single clue across and down starts with a B.

17A. Buzz-filled 2007 animated film : BEE MOVIE. A Dreamworks Animation vehicle for Jerry Seinfeld who co-wrote the screenplay and voiced the lead character.

30A. Betty White co-star in "The Golden Girls" : BEA ARTHUR. I wonder what her Shortz Factor is?

43A. Biotin, thiamine et al. : B VITAMINS. There seem to be many more vitamin B's than A, C or D's. Someone cleverer than what I is can explain.

57A. Behave candidly : BE HONEST. OK, I'll give this an A+

Steve at your service, pinch-hitting on this first day of February (where did January go?) Robin "Stears" us into the month with a blazingly brilliant alliteration exercise. I've never seen anything quite like this treatment of the cluing before, has anyone else?


1. Bank heist : JOB

4. Bedframe piece : SLAT

8. Beyond harmful : LETHAL

14. "... by __ other name ..." : ANY. Juliet's words to Romeo could well be described as a PAEAN

15. Bare bones : PITH. Not the orange peel or helmet pith, but the root of the "pithy phrase"

16. Billiard ball feature, about half the time : STRIPE. In the UK you play billiards with three balls, none of which have a stripe. Here in the US however, you have seven solids, seven stripes and the black 8-ball.

19. Brings together : UNITES

20. Burdensome additional levy : SURTAX. I think I've only ever seen this word used on a "Chance" card in Monopoly, I always seemed to be paying out taxes. A life lesson at an early age?

22. Boldly states : AVERS. No-one on this blog ever avers.

23. Birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen : ODENSE. Here he is in his hometown.

26. Baker's meas. : TSP. I can never remember if it's meant to be a level teaspoonful or a heaped one. I don't bake for that reason.

28. "Behold," to Brutus : ECCE

29. Ball-shaped frozen dessert : BOMBE. Food! Preferably chocolate, please.

32. "Ben-Hur," e.g. : EPIC

33. Bedrock resident : BARNEY Rubble, Fred's BUB

34. "But then again ..." : YET

35. Bug-bitten? : ILL

36. Brown who wrote "The Da Vinci Code" : DAN

37. Billion-year period : EON

40. Brother of Judah : SIMEON. Something I learned today!

42. Bump off : SLAY. Somehow, bumping off seems a nicer way of consigning someone to the hereafter than slaying them.

47. Blinked the sleep from one's eyes : AWOKE

48. Bothersome parasites : LICE. Ewwwww. I refrained from posting a link here, the pictures gave me the shudders.

49. By order of : PER

50. Bigheaded sort : EGOIST. I always thought the word was EGOTIST until I started doing crosswords and discovered they are synonyms.

51. Bing Crosby's "__ You Glad You're You?" : AREN'T

53. Baseball team's list of players : ROSTER Basketball would have worked here too, but most other sports wouldn't have alliterated (if that's a real word?)

55. Balanced state : STASIS

61. Black-tie wear : TUXEDO. I'm oddly proud that my tux still fits, and no, I didn't buy it last week.

62. Bardot's "the same" : EGAL. Brigitte's "equal". The national motto of France is "Liberté, égalité, fraternité" - Liberty, Equality and Brotherhood.

63. Breathtaking snake? : BOA

64. Began, as a lawn : SEEDED. We also have SOD later to cover all our grass-growing bases.

65. Beachfront property? : SAND

66. Buddy : BUB


1. Boxer's punch : JAB

2. Binary digit : ONE

3. "Bon voyage!" : BYE

4. Better half, so to speak : SPOUSE. I like how this is gender-neutral!

5. Burgundy book : LIVRE. I wanted WINE LIST first, but it's French-language February!

6. Bickering : AT IT. Knock it off, you bloggers back there.

7. Box office setting : THEATER

8. Baton Rouge sch. : L.S.U. We fondly know them from puzzles as the Tigers.

9. Blower of Sicilian smoke : ETNA

10. Buffer between a hot plate and a dinner table : TRIVET

11. Built for NASA, say : HI-TECH. As "built" is past tense, that's accurate. Your cellphone has about a billion times more computing power than the Space Shuttle. (From C.C.: "Built" here is a past particle and used as an adjective, no?)

12. Brief summary : APERCU. More French, but this word is adopted into English now, and usually written without the cute cedilla accent dangling from the C.

13. __ Bear: Ursa Minor : LESSER I wanted LITTLE first, then backtracked.

18. Broadcaster of "Morning Joe" : MSNBC

21. Blackboard symbols in the locker room : X'S AND O'S. Here is the winning play in Sunday's upcoming Superbowl (sorry, I can't remember which coach drew it up for me)

23. Bride's passé promise : OBEY. I over-thought this and had "I DID" first.

24. Birdbrain : DOPE. Me for a few of my first guesses today.

25. Belch, say : EMIT.

27. Blissful song : PAEAN

30. Better for enjoying the outdoors, as weather : BALMIER

31. "Belshazzar's Feast" painter Rembrandt van __ : RYN

33. "Black Sunday" airship : BLIMP. We'll see the blimp at the Superbowl, just hopefully not as closely as in the movie.

35. Biblical prophet: Abbr. : ISA

37. Blond sci-fi race : ELOI. Those "War of the Worlds" folk.

38. Barrel sources : OAKS. For aging your Chardonnay, whiskey or anything else that takes your fancy.

39. Bolshevik's denial : NYET

41. Bundles up (in) : ENROBES. A BOMBE is ENROBED in chocolate. I'm getting hungry.

42. Bound by oath : SWORN

43. Blaring siren sounds : BLASTS

44. Basis of morality : VIRTUE

45. Belaying tool for climbers : ICE AXE. Climber Pete Schoening saved six climbing companions who fell while roped together on K2 in an incredible feat known as simply "The Belay"; he was the seventh and last climber and arrested all of the fallers with a belay around his ice-axe.

46. Became edgy : TENSED

47. Belonging to an ancient time : AGE-OLD

50. "Blood Simple" co-screenwriter Coen : ETHAN. Joel's brother.

52. Bay of Fundy wonder : TIDE. The bay has a tidal range in excess of 50 feet.

54. Big name in video games : SEGA

56. Bald spot filler : SOD

58. Backward flow : EBB. The EBB TIDE in the Bay of Fundy is pretty dramatic!

59. Bronze coin of old France : SOU

60. Bar bill : TAB. I'm out of here, can I get mine please?


Note from C.C.:

I'm very happy to announce that from now on Steve will blog one (or two) Wednesday puzzle for us every month. Steve is a British and came to the US in 1995. A serious foodie. I look forward to many yummy offerings from him.

Jan 31, 2012

Tuesday, January 31, 2012 Allan E. Parrish

Theme: Easy Anagram - So easy, it's a snap ... or an anagram of it.

17A. Bakery cookware : MUFFIN PANS

28A. Quiet times for baby ... and mom : AFTERNOON NAPS

44A. Ability to focus : ATTENTION SPAN

58A. Crisp cookie : GINGER SNAP

El Gray here. Allan has been MIA the past year but is back with a nice Tuesday offering. I did have some difficulty but I think that was just me. Discovering the last word in the themes is an anagram didn't happen until the whole thing was done. No problem.


1. Woo : COURT

6. Goldfish or koi : CARP

10. Peak : ACME. and 10D. Very top : APEX

14. Sleep malady : APNEA

15. 1847 Melville work : OMOO

16. Sound repeated before "fizz fizz," in ads : PLOP

19. Coin on the Continent : EURO

20. Non-revenue-generating TV ad : PSA. Public Service Announcement (PSA)

21. Quite befuddled : LOST

22. Southwestern cuisine : TEX MEX

24. Water pitcher part : SPOUT

26. Bro's sib : SIS

27. Work at : PLY. As in PLY one's trade.

32. Orchestra section : REEDS

33. Period of watchful attention : VIGIL

34. Mimic with wings : MYNA. "And I can dance, too!"

35. Steals the bank blueprints for, e.g. : ABETS

37. Haunted house outbursts : EEKS

41. Not even once : NEVER

43. Chair maker Charles : EAMES. Charles Eames was greatly influenced by the Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen (whose son Eero, also an architect, would become a partner and friend). Charles married "Ray" Kaiser and together they continued their work in architecture and modern furniture design.

47. Photo taker : CAMera

49. Gallery work : ART

50. Sacred song : MOTET. The name comes either from the Latin movere, ("to move") or a Latinized version of Old French mot, "word" or "verbal utterance." The Medieval Latin for "motet" is motectum, and the Italian mottetto was also used. If the word is from Latin, the name describes the movement of the different voices against one another. (Per Wikipedia)
motet - "choral composition on a sacred text," late 14c., from O.Fr. motet (13c.), dim. of mot "word," from L. mutum "grunt, murmur." (per Online Etymology Dictionary)

51. Sister of Magda and Eva : ZSA ZSA. The Gabor sisters. Photo: Zsa Zsa Gabor, left, with her sisters Magda, center, and Eva, on Dec. 20, 1955.

53. Medium, e.g. : SIZE

54. Singer Sumac : YMA. We haven't "heard" from her lately.

57. Complexion concern : ACNE

61. Fishing gear : RODS

62. Cole Porter's "Well, Did You __?" : EVAH. Clip(3:33)

63. To-be, in politics : ELECT. Usually stuck on the end of the position, as in Senator-elect.

64. ER "Immediately!" : "STAT!"

65. USAF NCO : SSGT. Staff Sergeant E-5.

66. Lavishes affection (on) : DOTES


1. Temporary shelter : CAMP

2. Numbered musical piece : OPUS. Are his days numbered?

3. Remove, as a seatbelt : UNFASTEN

4. Gridiron official : REF

5. Some sewers : TAILORS. They may be alterers, too.

6. Admits guilt for, as a lesser charge : COPS TO

7. Latin I verb : AMAT. The big three: amo, amas, amat.

8. Jaworski of "Monday Night Football" : RON. "The Polish Rifle" was raised in the steel town of Lackawanna, New York.(near Buffalo) He quarterbacked for Los Angeles Rams, Philadelphia Eagles, Miami Dolphins, and Kansas City Chiefs.

9. Bulletin board items : POSTINGS

11. Small groups, as of bushes : CLUMPS

12. Edible mushroom : MOREL

13. Strong adhesive : EPOXY

18. Bill or gates, e.g. : NOUN

23. Morales of "La Bamba" : ESAI. We may be seeing more of him. According to IMDb, he has roles in production, one in pre-production, and one in post-production.

25. Nit-picking type : PEDANT. Hmmm? Who do we know ....

26. Irritated state : SNIT. Those hairsplitters are alright unless they get in a SNIT.

28. Kind of wrestling done while sitting : ARM

29. Seven-time Emmy winner Tina : FEY. She is great!

30. Not concealed : OVERT

31. Bring contentment to : PLEASE

35. Sports section decimals : AVERAGEs. Interesting clue.

36. Hunched (over) : BENT

38. Uncontested, as a late-game hockey goal : EMPTY NET. Perhaps Splynter can tell us when this tactic makes sense.

39. Mauna __ : KEA. is a volcano on the island of Hawaii and neighbor of Mauna Loa volcano.

40. Job application ID : SSN

42. JFK guesstimates : ETAs

43. Walked into : ENTERED

44. Actress Bearse or Plummer : AMANDA. Bearse was Marcy on "Married with Children". Plummer was "Honey Bunny" in  Pulp Fiction.

45. "Consider me a maybe" : "I MIGHT"

46. Flow slowly : OOZE

47. Industry leaders : CZARS

48. Dandy's neckwear : ASCOT

52. Pep : ZEST

53. Unexpected complication : SNAG

55. Mugging defense : MACE

56. Bldg. units : APTs

59. ER hookups : IVs

60. __-pitch softball : SLO


Notes from C.C.:

1) Happy Birthday to Bill G, who always brightens my day with his fun links and cheerful comments.

2) Happy Birthday also to Barry G's little boy Joshua, who turns 7 years old today. Hope you're getting better and enjoyed your Pizza Party last weekend.

Jan 30, 2012

Monday, January 30, 2012 Kevin Christian

Theme: Feathered Homonyms - Three birds that can also be used as verbs. They are in all capitals to show the clues could have been the answer and the answers could have been the clues. The answers are all in the pattern of "verb + ONE'S + noun".




Argyle here. Bird is the Word(1:06) Kevin used a similar gimmick back in 2010. Link He gave us another puzzle last year; maybe he can squeeze in two this year. I'd like that. A grid spanner, no cheater squares, and just a 'Q' short of a pangram.


1. Fashionable : CHIC. A young quail is called a chick.

5. __ Blanc, the Alps' highest peak : MONT

9. Wintry mess : SLUSH

14. Prolonged unconsciousness : COMA

15. Confess openly : AVOW

16. Like horror film music : EERIE

17. Practice boxing : SPAR

18. Luke Skywalker, e.g. : JEDI. The Force is with him.

19. Postal service symbol : EAGLE. Another bird.

23. The NFL's Cowboys : DALLAS

25. Energy : ZEST

26. Snake's warning : "SSS!"

27. "Can __ honest with you?" : I BE

28. 2011 World Series champs, on scoreboards : STL. St. Louis Cardinals.

30. Rogue : CAD

32. Ring loudly : PEAL

34. "Othello" villain : IAGO. He hates Othello and devises a plan to destroy the Moor by making him believe that his wife, Desdemona, is having an affair with his lieutenant, Michael Cassio(who we see in later in the week puzzles).

37. Fits of anger : RAGES

44. Actor Davis : OSSIE. He married actress Ruby Dee, you might remember. (You should.)

45. __-poly : ROLY. And here's a little ditty I'll bet you haven't heard. Clip(2:41) 49A. "__-haw!" : YEE

46. Yours, to Yves : À TOI

47. Presidents' Day mo. : FEB.

51. Any nonzero number divided by itself : ONE

52. Arafat's org. until 2004 : PLO. Palestine Liberation Organization. Yasser Arafat.

55. Remove, with "off" : TAKE

58. "Key Largo" 54-Down winner Claire : TREVOR, 54D. Hollywood award : OSCAR. She was in "Stagecoach" with John Wayne.

63. Not shortened, as a film : UNCUT

64. Suit to __ : A TEE

65. "Joy of Cooking" writer Rombauer : IRMA

68. Stiller's comedy partner : MEARA. Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara.

69. iPhone message : TEXT

70. Cowardly film beast played by 29-Down : LION, 29D. Actor Bert (see 70-Across) : LAHR

71. Swashbuckler Flynn : ERROL

72. Brother of Cain and Abel : SETH

73. "Ignore that editing change" : STET


1. IV amounts : CCs

2. "__ on Pop": Dr. Seuss : HOP

3. "Lay it on me!" : "I'M ALL EARS!"

4. Christmas song : CAROL

5. Like the Grand Canyon : MAJESTIC

6. Higher than : OVER

7. All-nighter pill : NODOZ. NoDoz® Alertness Aid Caffeine Caplets.

8. Bale binder : TWINE

9. Reel from a blow to the head : SEE STARS

10. Wife of Jacob : LEAH

11. Involuntary impulses : URGES

12. Eliot's "__ Marner" : SILAS

13. Obeys : HEEDS

21. Used to be : WAS

22. Upper-left PC key : ESC

23. Tippler, for short : DIPSO. Short for dipsomania, a compulsive desire to drink alcoholic beverages. And 42D. Abstain from alcohol : TEETOTAL

24. Helps with a heist : ABETS

31. Carvey or Delany : DANA. Twins? Not!

33. Explorer Ericson : LEIF

35. Moo __ gai pan : GOO

36. The "O" in SRO : ONLY

38. "Time to move on" : "GET OVER IT"

39. Money-saving, in product names : ECONO

40. Downhill racer : SKIER

43. Canines metaphorically exchanged for something desired : EYE TEETH. So named because they are directly below the eyes. I was expecting more.

48. Prohibit : BAN

50. Goof : ERR

52. Nom de __: pen name : PLUME

53. Solitary man : LONER

56. Grecian urn poet : KEATS

57. Cosmetics giant Lauder : ESTÉE

59. Lesser of two __ : EVILS

61. French franc successor : EURO

62. Deli counter call : NEXT

66. One of the Stooges : MOE

67. Picnic undesirable : ANT


Jan 29, 2012

Sunday January 29, 2012 John Lampkin

Theme: "Oh, You!" (O U) - OO is replaced by OU in each familiar phrase, all resulting in sound change.

23A. Parasite extermination overkill? : LOUSE CANNON. Loose cannon.

34A. Lead actor in a war movie, at times? : SHOUTING STAR. Shooting star.

56A. Bit of culinary class practice? : FLOUR EXERCISE. Floor exercise.

75A. Do-gooder's long-term goal? : ROUT OF ALL EVIL. Root of all evil.

96A. Cause for repeated whistle-blowing? : CHAIN OF FOULS. Chain of Fools. This refers to the Aretha Franklin song, no?

110A. Lily-livered takeover? : CHICKEN COUP. Chicken coop. Vowel sound is the same, P becomes silent.

42D. Stratosphere or euphoria? : HIGH NOUN. High Noon. Quite a suspenseful movie.

53D. Gloomy train station? : DOUR STOP. Door stop. Very seldom do we see non-theme entries have the same number of letters as the theme entries. But the ? marks in today's theme clues should prevent any theme & non-theme confusion.

Most of the sound changes involve long /oo/ to /ow/, right? Pronunciation remains the most difficult part in my English learning. My spoken English is so poor that I'm often quiet in gatherings. You'd think I have autism.

Quintessential John Lampkin puzzle. A pangram. Fun theme. Light and witty clues. No helper squares. The more I construct, the more I realize how much discipline it needs and how much extra work it involves not to use helper squares.


1. One may be shot on location : SCENE. "Shot"/"Shooting" often refers to movie/TV/photo in Xwords.

6. High seas cries : AHOYS

11. Its debut airing was "Gone With the Wind" : TCM. And 72. "Gone With the Wind" plantation : TARA.

14. Runs in place : IDLES

19. Ready followers? : OR NOT. Here I come.

20. Disney duck : DEWEY. Donald Duck's nephew. Huey, Dewey & Louie.

21. "I get it now!" : OHO

22. Quaffed : DRANK

25. Web : NET

26. Half an ice cream flavor : TUTTI. Tutti-frutti.

27. Front : FORE

28. Plus and minus: Abbr. : OPPS. Opposites? I was thinking of "Antonyms".

29. Striped cat : TIGER

31. "__ trifle!" : A MERE

32. Speaker's opening, often : ANECDOTE. Boomer has a lot.

36. Mouse catcher : OWL

37. Cavs, on scoreboards : CLE. Cavaliers/Cleveland.

39. Patriot Silas : DEANE. First US diplomat.

40. Word after a trip : OOPS. Not traveling trip.

41. Togo neighbor : GHANA

44. Easily startled : SKITTISH

46. Mart opening : WAL. Walmart pays lot of taxes, unlike the likes of Google, Apple & Microsoft, which seek tax haven offshore. Ireland, wherever they can get a tax holiday.

48. Not exaggerated : LITERAL. Billions of tax cheat for the above companies, no exaggeration.

50. '30s Army bomber : B-TEN

51. Shapes again : REMOLDS

55. Insurance fig. : AGT

60. Games org. : IOC (International Olympic Committee)

61. Kids often groan about them : CHORES

63. Borscht base : BEET. I like pickled beets.

64. Boot from office : OUST

65. Blue shade : AQUA

66. How Santa dresses, for the most part : IN RED. Hi Santa!

67. Building sites : LOTS

68. Say "yea," say : VOTE

69. Rashly reveal, with "out" : BLURT.

70. Ages and ages : EONS

71. Shed : MOLT

72. Slapstick actor Jacques : TATI. Of "Mon Oncle" fame. Learned from doing Xword.

73. Not apt to crow : MODEST

74. Bemoan : RUE

78. 4 x 4, for short : UTE. Only in Xword.

79. __ of Hanover: pretzel brand : SNYDER'S. I don't eat pretzels. Wiki said it's "the #1 pretzel company in the United State".

81. Detroit River outlet : ERIE

82. Off base : IN ERROR

84. Former rib? : EVE. Funny clue. Eve was made of Adam's rib.

85. Brutus, for one : ASSASSIN

88. Sounds of hoarse play? : RASPS. Great wordplay. Very Lampkin.

89. Email: Abbr. : MSGS

92. Searches thoroughly : SIFTS

94. Foreigners' subj. : ESL. English as a Second Language.

95. Dairy aisle amt. : DOZ (Dozen)

99. Exposes : LAYS OPEN

104. Three-time Oscar-winning composer Maurice : JARRE. Unknown to me. He composed "Lara's Theme". "Dr Zhivago" is so good. Some classic movies, like CrossEyedDave's "African Queen" & "To Kill a Mockingbird", just do not resonate with me.

105. Metaphor, e.g. : TROPE

106. Drop shot : DINK

107. Enjoyed a Harley : RODE. And 109. Harley, e.g. : HOG. Look here. Marisa Miller is Harley's spokesmodel & Dennis' favorite Angel. I bet Splynter likes her too. He seems to like girls with long legs.

108. Juke box favorite : OLDIE

113. Smooth combination : BLEND

114. Dodge City-to-Topeka dir. : ENE

115. App for European train travelers : iRAIL. Gimme for Marti, who just traveled there. I'm in awe of Marti's talents. She speaks French, German, Finnish and some other languages.

116. Partly edible agave that sounds disgusting : YUCCA. Yuck.

117. Belts out : SINGS. 120. Belter Merman : ETHEL. She sure could belt.

118. Some Windows systems : NTS

119. Pasta al __ : DENTE


1. System of musical syllables : SOL-FA. New word to me.

2. Emulate Harry Connick Jr. : CROON. He's quite handsome.

3. Make used (to) : ENURE. And 6. Get used (to) : ADAPT

4. Payload container : NOSECONE. Rocket.

5. When a chanteuse gets hot? : ETE. Another fun clue. Very very hot song.

7. Nag : HENPECK.

8. Has title to : OWNS

9. USN clerk : YEO. No abbr. hint is needed, Spitzboov/eddyB/D-Otto? (Added later: My bad. USN is a hint. Thanks, Grumpy.)

10. Versatile instrument, briefly : SYNTH. Alright, synthesizer.

11. They wag at parties : TONGUES. Got me.

12. Fastest feline : CHEETAH

13. Aleve alternative : MOTRIN

14. Dog collar dangler : ID TAG

15. Jam session feature : DRUM SOLO. Dennis idolized Gene Krupa when he was a kid.

16. Not on time for : LATE TO

17. Snare : ENTRAP

18. Ones needing a lift : SKIERS. Ski lift for Marti.

24. Chilly : COOL. 34. Chilling spots : SETTEES. Another great clue.

30. Salt additive : IODINE

33. Towered over : DWARFED

35. Most fresh : NEWEST

38. Opera 45-Down : LIBRETTO. 45. Original words : TEXT. I don't get the "Original" part.

41. Harding Icefield sights : GLACIERS. Alaska.

43. Court figure : ATTORNEY. 62. Court matter : RES

44. __-mo : SLO

47. __ Zion Church : AME

49. Green and Gore : ALS

51. Get up : RISE

52. Cordials : LIQUEURS

54. Disperses : SCATTERS

57. Aptly named fastener : U-BOLT. U-shaped.

58. Like transients : ROOTLESS

59. __ pie : CUTIE

65. Munic. official : ALD

67. Reed and Rawls : LOUs

68. Carousel circlers : VALISES. Baggage carousel.

69. Lively Spanish dances : BOLEROS. Jackets too.

71. To a greater degree : MORE SO

73. Not maj. : MIN (Minor)

75. Give some gas : REV

76. Come clean : FESS UP

77. Sportscaster Scully : VIN. Been with the Dodgers forever.

80. Wanting : DESIRING.

83. Salon option : RAZOR CUT

85. Insult : AFFRONT

86. Slapstick trio : STOOGES

87. Like hanky-panky : ILLICIT

89. Taking orders at the drive-thru window, etc. : McJOBS

90. "Want me to?" : SHALL I

91. Herb __ : GARDEN. None here. I only like chives.

93. Like some logical propositions : IF THEN

95. '60s sitcom star Dick Van __ : DYKE

97. Essentials : NEEDS

98. Massenet opera about a legendary Spaniard : LE CID. No idea. About El Cid. Very helpful clue.

100. Joint just above ground : ANKLE. I felt stupid not nailing this one.

101. Dog : POOCH

102. Elicit : EDUCE

103. Sherpas' land : NEPAL

106. Zoologist Fossey : DIAN

111. Otto I's realm: Abbr. : HRE (Holy Roman Empire)

112. "The Eyes of __": 2005 PBS science show : NYE. Featuring Bill Nye the Science Guy.

Answer grid.

I'd like to share with you this wonderful clip Bill G brought to us last week.


Jan 28, 2012

Saturday, Jan 28, 2012, Barry C. Silk

Theme: None

Words: 72

Blocks: 28

Saturday Silk~! Either I am still dreaming, or my confidence with Saturday puzzles, specifically this one, is getting very high - I did happen to know a great many answers off the top of my head, but my "WAG"-ing ( Wild Azz Guessing ) has gotten bolder. For example;

19A. Manhattan's __ Place, named for a wealthy early American : ASTOR - I live on Long Island, about 50 miles from Manhattan, but do not know this spot; but "five-letter" wealthy Americans? Well, let's try "ASTOR" ~!!

23A. Albemarle Sound's st. : N. CAR - Even though I know nothing about the location, I threw in "NDAK", (for North Dakota), since four-letter state abbreviations have the possibility of including "N" or "S" - close enough for "perps", and then I went back and fine-tuned 'North Carolina'

34A. They shine in theaters : EXIT SIGNS - Aisle lights? no - Usher's beam? no - Exit Signs - well, it fits....

I think what I am saying is that a "daunting" triple-ten pinwheel puzzle such as this can be less blank if you "go with your gut" on some of the clues - but don't 'forget' that it was a WAG, or you'll paint yourself into a black & white corner....

Yes, No, Maybe, Not ~??

Onward ~!


1. Mascot whose first and middle names are Horatio Magellan : CAP'N CRUNCH - This guy; he was on my breakfast table every now and then

11. Employs : USES

15. "No kidding?" : ARE YOU SURE ??

16. Nonspecific filing abbr. : MISCellaneous

17. Situations with no legal moves : STALEMATES

18. Mlle. counterpart : SRTA

20. Retired fliers : SSTs

22. Whale group : GAM - now here's a WAG gone wrong; I had POD, but my 13D HAD to be right; see below

26. Improvisatory composition : TOCCATA - DAH ~! I should have known this; it's one of my favorite pieces - you all know this one

28. Case worker: Abbr. : DETective

31. "... harken __ die": Tennyson : ERE I - we have many a poet on this blog

33. Carpenter's gadget : NAILER - How Ironic is it that I did NOT WAG this? In truth, it's actually worse being a carpenter, because now I start thinking about the hundreds of gadgets it could be....I do own a dual-function Bosch nailer, does both common nails and metal bracket nails, which are stubbier; C.C. asked me to put more of my work up here - right now, I am doing a big drafting project

37. Stretch : TRACT - This word always makes me think of this clip from Monty Python

38. Russian auto : LADA - I am just curious - I am going to count the "NICs" - Nailed It Clues; this is #1 - from doing crosswords, this car

39. Apply gently : DAB ON - #2, from doing crosswords

41. Traditional Indian beverage : CHAI - #3, from doing crosswords

42. Devil : SCAMP - put in SATAN at first - note that the "S" stayed

44. Baylor University hoopsters : LADY BEARS

46. Piece of protective gear : HELMET - another WAG

48. Jutland native : DANE - I put in JAWA here, since they lived on Tatooine, and the "Jundland Wastes" were there, too - totally wrong, but again, the "A" stayed

49. Haw. doesn't observe it : DST - I know that some parts of Indiana don't deal with Daylight Savings Time, but the HAW. did not click until just now - HAWaii; - I think it's silly now, too

50. Judge : ARBITER

52. Harmony : SYNC

54. 2011 lockout org. : NBA - #4 - conflicting with the NHL, I was hoping that they stayed locked out - alas, you get the sport with the biggest waste of quality hardwood...

55. Citi Field predecessor : SHEA #5 - live here, been there, the NY Mets old stadium

57. "Quiet!" : ZIP IT ~!! - thought we were on our way to a pangram

61. Political mascot creator : NAST (Thomas) - #6 - Uncle Sam

63. Washoe County seat : RENO NEVADA

66. Publisher Chandler : OTIS

67. Task assigned at a meeting : ACTION ITEM

68. German pop star since the '80s : NENA - #7 - You know this song

69. Sewer's accessory : NEEDLE CASE - ah - not the etui we always see....

DOWNward ~!

1. Latin quarters? : CASA - the "A" was there from my ASTOR WAG, so I put in the Spanish word for house - I knew quarter from "No Quarter", the Led Zeppelin song; I didn't think it meant 25¢ in the song, so I had to look it up, when I was about 13 years old

2. Newspaper section : ARTS - this filed in by itself; all perps

3. Garden supply : PEAT - WAG, since the "T" was there

4. Hose material : NYLON - #8 - oh, I know these

5. More than wheedles : COERCES - after that, it's "Arm Twisting"

6. Punch spirits : RUM

7. "Miracle on Ice" team : USA - #9 - but I dig hockey

8. "Phooey!" : NUTS - tried RATS first - half right

9. Surfer's perch : CREST - of a wave, not the toothpaste....

10. "El Cid" star, 1961 : HESTON - Charlton

11. Sounds of hesitation : UMs....

12. Round Table member : SIR GALAHAD - More Monty Python, at :30

13. English station wagons : ESTATE CARS - I got this one because I record every single episode of the BRITISH original series "Top Gear" - both funny, and informative - and I was never a big car enthusiast

14. Hustler : SCAM ARTIST

21. Improvisational style : SCAT

24. Parched : ARID

25. Majestic : REGAL

27. She turned Odysseus' crew to swine : CIRCE

28. "Runaway" singer, 1961 : DEL SHANNON - quite a lot I didn't know about him; committed suicide the day before my 19th birthday

29. Make worse : EXACERBATE

30. National Cherry Blossom Festival focal point : TIDAL BASIN - Image

32. Out of favor : IN BAD

35. Motown singer Terrell : TAMMI

36. Pops : SODAS - was not fooled by this one

40. NASDAQ setting : NY, NY

43. Some are exotic : PETS - I had an iguana, Zeus, and a ball python (third reference) named "Snickers" - he ate live mice

45. Coal tar product : BENZENE - a WAG with the "Zed" there

47. 1974 Asian Games host city : TEHRAN

51. Ex-model Gabrielle : REECE - Volleyball player, here

53. Honda model : CIVIC

56. Deal prerequisite, maybe : ANTE

58. "__-Pan": carol : PATA - did not know this at all; more here

59. Fateful day : IDES

60. Subdue : TAME

62. Dept. of Homeland Security org. : TSA

64. Suffix with fact : OID

65. Lon of Cambodia : NOL

Answer grid.